The senior hockey team and four junior football teams left from Challoner’s on an early Monday morning for a long coach journey to Valkenburg, Holland. The teams arrived ready for a run around and to warm up for the inevitably action-packed week of hockey that was to come.

Tuesday saw the teams take on their first masterclass training sessions, focusing on press and transfer of the ball. After some effective 3-on-1 drills and some minigames, we headed back to the hotel for our daily team meal - a definite highlight of the trip! Some spare time made way for bowling, which ended up with an intense battle between Mark and Mr Ambrose, both with an impressively consistent ability to score a strike. Honourable mentions also go to Cameron, who managed to knock down a single pin after six rounds.

The first matches of the tour were in the evening; the senior hockey team secured a 5-3 win over the local Dutch team, including some free-flowing attacks finished by Cameron Saywell and Ed Bellamy. Meanwhile, the 9A football team accomplished a 4-2 victory, with skilful goals from Matthew Pannett (2), Tom Beck and Gabi el Nagar, and 8B scored 4-1 against Patro Eisden.

After another training session on Wednesday morning, sharpening on overloading the attack and other techniques, both teams headed out into the town for more activities - laser tag and tobogganing. The Year 13s were defeated by the Year 12s in laser tag; a mobile phone took the only casualty on some high-speed runs when it, unfortunately, fell out of the toboggan.

We then set off for our second fixture! The 9A team won their second match, winning 5-2, and in a nail-biting match, the 8A team went 4-4. Following the jump-scare of water jets from the side of the pitch, the hockey game commenced and immediately we were in possession, with triangle play and slick passes up the pitch. Despite a record number of people falling over on the slightly slippery surface, a goal from Jack Mailey and two from Mark Calderan saw the Challoner’s team secure a 3-0 victory!

On the last day, the teams were ready for their final games. The junior football teams managed a clean sweep, with the 8A and 9B teams coming first and second respectively. In hockey, a few swift transfers around the back between Luke Harrison and Rosie Thompson, and a final cinematic goal from captain Will Stubbs, marked the end of a 5-0 win and a spectacular week in Holland.